Survive: to remain alive or in existence after

Survivor: One that survives; someone capable of surviving changing conditions, misfortune, etc.

Monday, February 28, 2011

History of HIM

My mother was only about twenty-five when she became a single mother of three small little girls.   I was about five years old when my biological father left my mother, just shortly before I started Kindergarten.  Which puts Lynn at about three and Ann would have been around a year old.  At this time in my Mother's life, we were her everything, we were her life.

He as younger than our Mother by five or six years.  He was not father material and looking back, was never husband material either.  He already had fathered a son, and left the woman to fend for herself.  But some how, he managed to sweep our mother off her feet.  It is hard for me to remember back that far and pin point exactly when he came into our lives.  I know there was a period of "dating" prior to them getting married because I remember not wanting him to be in our home.  I was having a hard time with the fact that our Father had left and wanted nothing to do with this new guy in the house.  I remember throwing tantrums, full blown screaming fits when he was around.  The dress that I wore when he married my mother is a children's size 8, I know this because it hangs in my closet to this day.  So, that tells me it was soon after my father left that he started coming around..

Eventually he won us over, and we began to accept him as a possible father figure.  I remember my Mother getting some sort of certificate to present to him for Father's Day early on.  We did not want to call him Dad or Daddy and some how he came up with "Poppie" and it stuck.

Poppie did provide for our family.  I remember ten to twelve dollars a week allowance in the first grade!  Another memory that tells me he was in the picture pretty quickly after my father left.  For him, money could always buy happiness.  He made repairs to our little run down summer shack and made my mother feel like the luckiest woman alive.

I can't tell you that I remember the first time, but I do remember one of the earlier times that he began sexual abusing me.  It started with accidental touching, we were on the couch, under the afghan that my grandmother had made...


The days that followed started a journey I never in my life thought that I would take.

After speaking with Ann that night I called our sister Lynn, who was living out of town, and told her what I knew.  Ann had walked in on him in a bath towel sitting next to Timmy.  She was sure that something had happened or was about to happen.  Either way, something needed to be done quickly.  But what?  How?

Our first thoughts jumped to Carrie, our youngest sister, who was expecting her first child.  Did she know?  Would she know to protect her baby once it was born into this world?

The three of us, decided that we needed to tell Carrie what had happened in the past, as well as what was happing now with our nephew Timmy.  We couldn't wait for Lynn to return, this needed to happen immediately.  We started by inviting Carrie over to my home as this was not something to tell her about over the phone.  Ann and I struggled to tell her what he had to say.  How do you tell someone something to horrific about their father?

I can't remember how we went about telling her.  I remember sitting across from Carrie and wondering which words to use to soften the blow.  She was "Daddy's Little Girl" and this was bound to cause devastation.  If memory serves me right, Ann stepped up to the plate and told Carrie that her father, our stepfather, had molested Ann, Lynn and I.  Carrie was shocked, she was angry, she was hurt.  Tears and more tears as we all cried together.  Carrie insisted on confronting her father and wanted us to be there with her when she did so.  Could we handle this?  He had always told us if anyone found out he would surely commit suicide...  Should we do this?

Something about confronting him seemed so powerful!

It was a simple phone call...

...that changed my life forever!

I was watching television, it was one of those documentary type programs that are on after the kiddos are in bed.  It was about a woman named Angela Shelton.  She was making her own documentary by driving around the United States and meeting other women named Angela Shelton.  She was amazed at the number of these Angelas that were also victims of sexual assaults, as she was a survivor herself.

My phone rang and my sister, who I will call "Ann", is on the other end.  I can tell that she is upset, but she often has this tone when she calls.

She says "Do you remember what happened to us when we were little?"

I swear at this point my world just stopped spinning.  You see, Ann had never once acknowledged what had happened to us when we were little.

I slowly and quietly replied "Yes, I remember."

Her reply chilled me to the bone, I remember her words just like they were said only five minutes ago.

"I think the same thing is happening to Timmy"  Ann said.